Two measures designed to improve state oversight of natural gas pipelines have now passed the Virginia Senate and are headed for floor consideration in the House of Delegates.
- SB1265, sponsored by Sen. Deeds, authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to conduct inspections of land-disturbing activities related to construction of any natural gas transmission pipeline equal to or greater than 24 inches inside diameter. Current law authorizes such inspections for only pipelines greater than 36 inches. The bill passed the Senate 38-0 on February 5 and was approved by the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources by a 14-7 vote on February 17.
- SB1311, sponsored by Sen. McClellan, would require an applicant for a natural gas transmission pipeline greater than 36 inches inside diameter to submit a detailewd erosion and sediment control plan and a stormwater management plan to the Virginia DEQ for approval. The bill was approved by the Senate on February 5 by a 20-17 vote. A substitute bill was approved February 17 by the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources on a 13—9 vote.